How to Build an Orc

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Here’s something I did for some badly-needed fun.

Grom Hellscream, as some of you know, is my Main Orc.  But Funko Pop has not yet made a figure of Grom.  So I decided to give it a try.  Sculpting may not be my forte, but it made for a good distraction.  And this is how I built myself an orc.

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First I bought a Funko Pop D.I.Y. male figure and some epoxy clay (recommended by a couple of sites as good clay, doesn’t need baking.)

 

 

Then came research. Grom comes in several varieties, depending on which 2 sketchesversion of the game or which expansion pack you like. I chose the Grom from Warcraft 3 because it was a simpler version and because that Grom was the hero who saved the orcs.  I printed out some pix of other Funko Pop orcs for guidance, and got to work.

 

3 clayRight off I decided it would be easier to paint as I went along, since getting a paintbrush behind and under such tiny details wouldn’t be easy. So to begin, I worked on building up that weak human chin into something more beefy and orcish. The clay dried nicely, and I added more to the chin and put on the lower lip with no problem.  The clay stuck great.  Then I did ears.  I put all the details in his face except for the eyebrows which would sit over the top of the eyes.

6 sketch face

 

The eyes would be a fierce Mannoroth-blood red, outlined in black for emphasis.  Then it 9 eyebrowswas time for the eyebrows. I never realized before that Grom has no eyebrows to speak of.  Most of the other orcs have black eyebrows.  My Grom got green eyebrows, just to give his face a little more expression. Without them, he would have looked blank. Meanwhile, I stuck the little leftover bits of clay atop his head for a ponytail base.

 

10 paint face

Two colors of green mixed together made a nice fel-orcish color and I started painting the head. I left 4 small unpainted bits over the lip so the tusks would adhere nicely, and the scalp stayed blank, also, waiting for hair. I painted the arms and chest, leaving room for Grom’s signature wrong-sided pauldron and gloves.

 

The tusks were tricky to shape but orcs’ teeth aren’t smooth, anyway.  Next came the hair: little coils of clay smoothed flat and then marked with an X-Acto knife. After drying, the hair would get a coat of black paint.

13 hair 313 hair 213 hair 1

 

 

 

 

Pants and boots came next, in two different shades of brown. I added a bit of bronze to the boots to boost the contrast.  A bit of clay made cuffs for the gloves.  More clay for the single pauldron, the strap holding it to the belt, and the wide belt itself. And paint.  He had to hang upside down to let his boots dry. 14 boots

The ponytail was a bit tricky. Grom has long hair tied up on top of his head, so I wrapped his head and upper body in wax paper so the long coils of clay wouldn’t stick. I wanted the tail to hang long and loose.  A wrap would hold the tail in place.17 pony on wax16 wax paper

Once that dried, I painted the hair and the hair wrap. The tusks got a coat of ivory. No Colgate whitening toothpaste on Draenor!  And I added his chin tattoo, of course.

20 gorehowl handle

 

A few touch-ups finished the paint. Then I had to decide what to do about his axe. I have a 3.5″ long Gorehowl, as long as he is tall (nothing’s too big from Grom to handle!) but there didn’t seem to be a good way to get him to hold it. Back to the clay, then. A heated sewing pin went into his hand without too much trouble, so I put one pin in either side of his hand, clipped off the round heads with a wire cutter, and then built up the axe with clay.  A pencil sharpener held it while it dried.

 

 

The head of the axe refused to stay by itself as the clay was too flimsy. Instead I made it flat and let it dry on wax paper, then used a bit more clay to stick it to the handle. Gorehowl could have used a bit more sanding, but I didn’t want to use too much force on it.  No sense losing all that work.  Bronze paint covered Gorehowl.  I even used a tiny paintbrush to coat the inside of the legendary holes in the axe.24 gore closeup

 

After a few minor touch-ups, Grom was finished.27 finished

The hardest paint by far was painting the little devil.  Even with a tiny brush, it was difficult not to smear paint on other parts of his outfit.

The second hardest was Gorehowl.  But now I’ve decided I like the unsanded axe.  It has a nice rough look that befits an orc.

Sculpting him wasn’t as hard as I’d thought.  Kind of makes me want to try another one.  Maybe a female this time.

 

 

 

 

A Birthday and a Movie

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Today is my birthday.

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Last Friday I got an early birthday present: a ticket to see the Warcraft movie. And I have a blog. So now I get to write a review, which may be a first for me. But never fear. This will be short and sweet because there’s a chocolate chip cookie with chocolate buttercream icing waiting for me.

Two hours was too short. As many others have pointed out, the movie feels rushed. Watching “Warcraft” felt like running the Sunken Temple dungeon for the first time with someone who’d done it dozens of times. They run in, tell you to do this, go here, kill that, and they’re finished while you’re still running around in circles, trying to figure out how to get down to the next level of the temple. It’s more than a bit bewildering.

As a writer, I would have preferred a bit more background info. How did Gul’dan end up in charge of the Horde if he was so evil? How did Medivh get to the orcs’ planet? Why was Llane Wrynn in Goldshire? Non-WoW players probably wouldn’t catch that, but veterans like me know Goldshire’s reputation as a red-light district occasionally haunted by a bizarre group of children. Why in the name of the Twisting Nether would the king of Stormwind be discussing military plans in Goldshire?

Some scenes felt unnecessary and might have been replaced instead with things that helped explain the plot better. Like the “he wants to lay with you” scene between Khadgar, Lothar, and Garona. Or the frustratingly brief bit in Ironforge where Lothar receives a message about the burnt village. While it’s nice for nostalgia’s sake to see Ironforge, those few moments might have been better spent someplace else. People who have never played World of Warcraft need a clear explanations of who these characters are and what they’re doing, but veteran players like myself also need clear explanations to minimize our confusion. We veterans just got back from saving an alternate universe as it is, so the lore has been turned on its head already. It’s easy to forget where we are.

I like to think they could have stuck more closely to the original story if they’d tried a bit harder. I did like the changes with Garona’s heritage, though. Originally she was a product of rape, and rape is so overdone that the story works better without it. And if Medivh turns out to be her father rather than her lover, that’s fine, too. Their son in game never played much part in the lore, anyway.

Should you go see it? Maybe. it’s a good story, even if it is the Cliff’s Notes version. I would like to see it again. Just be aware if you go to see it: it’s not your mama’s Warcraft. If you don’t know the story, then sit back and pay attention so you can keep up with a tale told too fast. If you do know the story, forget everything you ever learned and let Blizzard tell you a new version of an old story.  If you can do that, you’ll probably enjoy it.

I give it a 50 DKP minus for shoving us through the dungeon too fast for us to loot everything.

And now, on to my cookie.  Happy birthday to me.

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2016 Resolution

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Truncated from my main blog.  

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It makes me a sad puppy thinking about this, but it has to be done.  No, wait, I can’t be a sad puppy, that means something else entirely nowadays. But I digress.

Fanfiction occupies the vast majority of my writing time – in fact, it occupies virtually all of my writing time – and while it’s fun, it’s not helping.  Once I get back into the habit of writing original stories, perhaps my brain will be able to handle the occasional foray into someone else’s world.  But for now, it’s got to stop.   Nice coincidence that CBS and Paramount have just filed suit against Axanar, for making what amounts to a Star Trek fanfic-film.  The chances of any good (e.g., money, jobs, etc.) coming from fanfiction are slim to none.  It’s time to move someplace else. 

Besides, no “new” fanfiction doesn’t mean I can’t take the old stuff and rewrite it as original stories.  They’re nearly ready-made stories, if you think about it.  Just change a few details, put them in a new setting, and poof!  A story is (re) born.

So I have my own stories to look forward to in 2016.  Let’s hope something good comes from it.  

 

I haz a novel

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Finished NaNoWriMo today, and for the first time I can say I have a novel.  A whole novel.  It still needs work, but it’s there – beginning, middle, and end.  Characters and plot (more or less) and all that jazz.  It’s an idea I’ve played with for quite a while.  Back in July or August, I sat down and wrote a basic outline, and in September I wrote a rough draft.  Now I’ve gone through the rough draft and turned it into a good, solid first draft.  But…

It’s fanfiction.  Based on WoW, of course.  I can’t publish it.  Not as is, anyway.

Now I have to decide what to do with it.  The following options come to mind:

  1. Nothing.  Set it aside, be proud of myself for having completed it, and move on to something else.
  2. ‘Publish’ it online, as is.  I’ve read fanfiction novels online.  It’s a possibility.
  3. Rewrite it to remove the WoW parts and try to get it really published that way.

At least I don’t have to decide now.  It can sit there and wait till I decide what to do.  (Yes, I’ve got it saved in a couple different places.)  Meanwhile, I’ll pat myself on the back, start looking at Christmas lists, and go play some WoW.  I hear Koltira Deathweaver is coming back in Legion, and my death knight wants to be ready.  She’s still got a couple levels to go before she hits 100.

Legion

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I got to see the big Gamescom reveal yesterday for World of Warcraft: Legion.  They timed it well, it was on right before I left for work.  Afterward, I’d rather have stayed home and read the websites and discussed the possibilities, but that’s how it goes.

My opinion of Legion?  To borrow words from Eulalie Mackechnie Shinn:

“And naturally I’m reticent.  Oh yes, I’m reticent.” 

I remember being so excited when the Warlords of Draenor trailer came out.  Grom!  Blackhand!  Orgrim!  All the legendary orcs from the original Horde!  The ones I’d only read about – finally I’d get to meet them in game.  I could hardly wait!

I have 3 level 100s, and I’m still waiting.

My worgen got to see Grom while questing through Shadowmoon Valley.  One of my Hordies saw him for a minute on the PTR when she was captured and imprisoned as a gift to the warchief.  But that’s about it.  Most of the rest of it consisted of cutscenes and cinematics, with the legends kept out of reach of my toons.  Not once did I get to talk to them or run errands for them.  Not one hi, how ya doin’.  Not a single hey, I’m hungry, go find me a dozen boars’ legs and I’ll give you a couple silver.  The rest of it, I suppose, is in raids (which I haven’t done as my guild is pretty much non-existent and I don’t really have time, anyway) where all you get to do is kill the legends, not interact with them like I’d anticipated.

I have nothing to write from WoD.  It didn’t inspire any fanfiction.  My old rogue, cousin to the original Grom, came out of retirement to go to Draenor to see for herself who this other Grom was, but she never caught a glimpse.  Watching Thrall duel Garrosh really put a blanket on her fire.  After she built a shipyard, she got bored and went back to Azeroth to play with her grandchildren and tell them stories of the glorious good old days, when men were men and orcs were orcs and fighting was hand-to-hand, not hidden behind a camera.sync ship

Maybe the Legion will bring some new ideas and characters and inspire some new writing.  Hard to say till I get there and see.  Meanwhile, I’ll be working on my ‘real’ blog and my original fiction – what there is of it.

As always, For The Horde!